Any time I’ve been away for a while from the practice of making beads, I find I need an easy re-entry to get things moving again in the studio. These beads are perfect. I roll out a batch of core beads to start with. It’s a straightforward task with zero creative demands. It’s quick and (with practice) easy. At the end, I have a pile of blank beads, canvases awaiting my attention.
Part of the beauty of the process is the way that the textures are created and imparted to the beads. First, I make plates, which I treat both raw and cured. When raw, I imprint the clay with simple implements in a repetitive fashion. After curing, I carve the plate. With a library of these tools, I need only properly layer colored clay over my core beads, and I am able to pull a whole galaxy of differing beads off a single plate.
Some detail treatment, sanding, and polishing, and I have a little box full of joy to remind me why I love this process so much, and propel me into the next challenge.
I’ve posted five pairs on Etsy, and there are more to come.
It’s a great way to get the wheels turning again. Starting with a process that resembles nothing so much as doodling, I end up with refined and elegant beads. If this interests you, check out my book, Polymer Clay Beads. Or take a workshop.